Types of Percussion Instruments : Percussion Instruments: Rain Stick


Next up, I’ll be discussing the rain stick.
Now, here is a rain stick. They come in various sizes. Now, this is traditionally found in
Chile, in South America, where this instrument is used in ceremonies to ask for rain, from
the gods essentially, where there’s a drought. This instrument will simulate the sound of
rain, and therefore, essentially be a call to the gods to say they need rain to come.
Now, nowadays it can be used as a more contemporary instrument just for its soothing qualities.
Now, to play this instrument, I’ll even get a bigger version of it here, just so that
you can hear a little better. Same instrument, just a bit larger, and therefore, a bit louder.
You can hear the sound it makes kind of simulates rain. Now, the way it works, this is a cactus,
a dead cactus where the skin has fallen off, leaving just the shell, which is called the
normada. Now, these spikes, or the little tines that are on the side of the cactus have
been taken off, and hammered into the normada here so that they stick into the empty cavity
inside the rain stick. The ends have been cut off, and very small stones have been placed
in here, so when you cap it back on, as you tilt the rain stick, the small stones run
into the tines of the cactus on the inside, creating the sound that you hear. Now, you’ll
want to keep it at about a sixty degree angle, and rotate it to maximize the sound and get
the best tone.